How Can UWT Solve its Parking Problem?

– Susannah Piercy, UWT graduate of Politics, Philosophy and Economics

Susannah Piercey, pictured in UWT’s Tioga Lot.

Any student can tell you that there is not enough parking on campus. You arrive early and circle the lots, rolling slowly behind anyone who might be leaving, all to find just one spot. What’s causing this parking shortage? I researched the problem – and potential solutions – during my winter internship in UWT’s Division of Finance and Administration. After ten weeks of work, I found that, while UWT already utilizes some standard strategies to manage parking demand, only one thing will solve the problem: UWT has to increase parking prices. Continue reading

Increasing Housing Prices in Tacoma and Its Possible Labor Market Effects

– Casandra Brown, student of Politics, Philosophy, and Economics

Since 2011, the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Tacoma has increased by 44%, a rate exceeding both Seattle’s (30%) and Olympia’s (40%). The median income, however, is still below the median household earnings of surrounding counties and the state.  The current median rent for a one-bedroom apartment ($1,313) constitutes two-thirds of a minimum wage earner’s income in Tacoma. Continue reading

Why is Malpractice Insurance So Expensive in the US?

– Adam Carl Birgenheier, UWT graduate of Law and Policy

There have been several crises in the medical malpractice insurance market over recent decades. These have translated to dramatic increases in malpractice premiums, anywhere from 30% to 300%, which patients typically make up for through increased hospitalization fees (Feldstein, 2015). Why have there been such extreme jumps in premiums? Is this due to more medical negligence? More lawsuits? Or is it something else? Continue reading

Protectionism Won’t Make America Great Again

– Dr. William McGuire, faculty.

In his 2017 inaugural address, Donald Trump announced: “We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies, and destroying our jobs. Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength.” A year and a half later, Trump has followed through on his promise by renegotiating or withdrawing from important trade deals, and tightening immigration restrictions. This feels like a new era in US economic policy, but the truth is that the election of Donald Trump was a milestone on a longer road toward global protectionism and economic nationalism. Continue reading

Child Tax Credit and Labor Force Participation of Women

– William Monkman, student.

The Child Tax Credit (CTC) has recently increased: the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act doubled the CTC from $1,000 to $2,000 per child and entitled parents whose federal liabilities are less than their CTC to receive an additional $1,400. The CTC, as a proportion of overall income, is worth more to low-income earners than high-income earners. Because of the additional $1,400, it can even be described as a progressive subsidy. So, what effects might this have on the economy? Continue reading

Who Benefits from Healthcare Reform?

– Aaron Hansen, student.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been the topic of debates and political rhetoric quite a bit in the past 18 months. Our national government has been working to replace the ACA and scale back the federal regulations that came along with it. It is a hot button topic and a confusing one. Let us examine two questions so that we might better understand the motivations of future proposals. Who is healthcare reform for? Who drives the policy changes? Continue reading

Ban the Box

Hibaq Abdullahi, student.

In the United States, individuals with criminal histories will regularly experience re-arrest, reconviction, resentencing, or return to prison after their first conviction. This phenomenon, known as recidivism, represents an enormous financial burden to society in the form of lost wages and the costs of incarceration; one 1994 study of 15 states found recidivism rates over 66% in as little as three years after release from prison. Attempts to reduce recidivism often focus on employment opportunities: the difficulty that former convicts face in getting a job may explain their propensity to repeat criminal activity. Continue reading

The FDA’s Approval Process: Too Much of a Good Thing?

– David Kind, student.

A vigilant agency may take extra time in its approval process to ensure the safety and efficacy of a drug. However, the extra time comes at the cost lives that could have been saved provided that the drugs were approved faster. How can the FDA find a balance between the two?

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